Mr. Tiffany of the Tiffany Studios has just succeeded in producing the turquoise tone in Favrile glass. Upon this he has been at work for a long time. That his success is a triumph will be appreciated when it is known that only once before in the world’s art history (the Egyptian Tel-el-Amarna period) has this delicate hue in glass been approached, and that the Tiffany glass in color and tone not only equals but surpasses the Egyptian. Mr. Tiffany was inspired to try for this difficult shade in glass by seeing some rare bits of Egyptian porcelains of the Tel-el-Amarna period while he was in Egypt two years ago.
Both the article in the Observer, and one appearing in the York Evening Post, mention that some of the vases in the exhibit were decorated with “bands of fine interlacing design,” and this is perhaps the basis for referring to all pieces with a similar decorative motif as “Tel-el-Amarna.” However, the fact that Arthur and Leslie Nash, in unpublished company notebooks, referred to Favrile shades with a border decoration of zigzags as “Byzantine” would seem to indicate that it, and not “Tel-el-Amarna," is a more historically accurate description for this category of vases.
Tel-el-Amarna vases, with their classic shapes, diversity of colors and wide range of decorative motifs have long been favored by collectors. The McConnells’ collection superbly exemplifies the finest characteristics of this style, ranging from a vivid “Mazarine” blue (lot 3) to a striking “Samian” red (lot 1), and the imaginatively modified decorations on the necks of lots 2 and 7.
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